Anger and its elimination Part I / by Atman Nityananda
Anger is a strong rajasic emotion. Anger is distorted vital energy crystallized in the astral body. Anger is a modification of desire or passion.
Anger is only a modification of desire, that`s why anger arises when a desire or a `need` is not met. Anger arises when something or someone prevents us to do or to accomplish what we want, to get what we want or what we wish and what we like.
‘’Desire (kama) is the mother of all emotions.’’ ~ Swami Rama
“When a man’s desire is not gratified and when someone stands in the way of its fulfillment, the man becomes angry. The desire gets transformed into anger.
Anger is only a modification or form of desire. Anger is desire itself. All evil qualities and actions proceed from anger.”
"Desire" itself, under certain circumstances, gains expression as "anger."
~ Swami Chinmayananda
Anger also arises when there is conflict of desires, of needs and opinions among people, whether couples, friends, family etc.. Anger arises when we think that someone diminishes our self-image, when reject us or we think that reject us, when does not or we think that doesn`t accept us (do not accept or reject our opinions, body image, life style, preferences in various things, our religion, etc.,). This happens because we want or we need (our mind is conditioned to do so) recognition and acceptance.
The intensity of expression of anger depends on the intensity of desire. Τhe stronger is the desire or the attachment (attachment is a child of desire) we have for something, the more powerful is the anger as well as the fear to lose or not to get what we want.
Anger is directed against something or someone; it is against him (or whatever) who opposes our desires and needs. Anger attacks with words, gestures and actions of violence. Anger wants to harm anyone who is an obstacle to our desires. Anger also attacks ourselves when we do something that prevents the fulfillment of a desire.
Anger clouds the mind and intellect, our capacity of reasoning and discernment and forces us to say or do things that we regret when anger subsides.
The company anger is fear, guilt and depression.
When there is a desire the psychological process unfolds this way: First comes the impulse of desire which impels us to fulfill it; we think and plan how we can get and enjoy the desired object; we probably have expectations and we imagine how it will be when we get what we want. Imagination, projection and superimposition are always the ways that desire works.
Along with the desire we may have doubts and anxiety (if we manage at the end to get or accomplish what we want); these doubts and anxiety are only expressions of fear.
If anyone or anything prevents us fulfill our desire then desire transforms itself as anger and attacks him that is an obstacle of our desire. If desire is fulfilled, the emotions of anger, anxiety, fear, impatience etc. subside temporarly and we experience pleasant sensations, pleasure or happiness according the nature of the desired object and the circumstances. If the desire is not fulfilled the desire transforms as disappointment, frustration, dissatisfaction, resentment, displeasure, depression. Very intense anger or acumulated anger becomes hatred.
In the case that we had expressed our anger towards someone, when anger subsides then we regret about what we said or we did against him and possibly can arise in us the emotion of guilt. In the guilt phase, the ego in order to overcome the inner conflict puts into action its defenses, known to Dr. Freud as defense mechanisms. Two of them is to accuse the others or to justify ourselves.
Another mechanism to compensate the discomfort we feel (after an anger episode) is to find some pleasant or pleasurable experience. We seek something to distract our mind from the inner and outer situation we are at those moments. But by doing so we avoid to confront and resolve our psychological disfunction, we remain unconscious of the mental pattern, the need or the desire that is behind the anger and we also accumulate in our energy field more anger energy that will arise again in the future in similar situations. In other words we become victims of what we negate to see and recognize in us.
Do not forget that almost all psychological conflicts begin with desire, continues with fear and anger and end with depression, disappointment, frustration, dissatisfaction, resentment, and guilt. So all this process is only an expansion of desire itself and the above mentioned emotions are modifications or transformations of desire itself.
Remember also that what the ego wants to survive, to protect its image and overcome the inner conflict and suffering, (which are due to the emotions of inferiority, insecurity, low self-esteem and self-image, low self-confidence, need for acceptance and recognition etc.) creating and using various kinds of defend mechanisms. These mechanisms `work` to some extent but in the long run cause mental and emotional conditioning, unbalance, suffering and alienate us more and more from our true nature.
Passion is the root and anger the stem. First you have to destroy the root (passion), then the stem (anger) will die by itself. A passionate man is more angry. ~ Swami Sivanada
Consequences of anger
Anger keeps us entrapped in low vibrations and thus we cannot experience the peace, harmony and the joy of Being.
Anger destroys the harmony between couples, friends, families, partners, teams, countries, nations. We do things without being able later to change their harmful results. We hurt ourselves and others, as well as our physical and psychological health and that of others.
Anger drains a lot of vital energy (psychic and physical prana) and unbalances the energy flow and the three doshas, especially Vata and Pitta. So after an episode of anger we may feel tired or have a headache, stomach pain, etc. (About the results of anger in the body read here Anger and Bodily sensations).
When we are angry we take wrong decisions that affect us and our fellows.
When the anger we express towards a person accumulates in us it becomes hatred.
The ultimate goal is to eliminate anger
It is certain that the goal is not only to control the anger but to eliminate this energy and free our mind and the field of energy from this poison of anger-energy.
The process we follow to eliminate the anger-energy is the same we follow with all other egoic tendencies or negative emotions with slight differentiations.
Prayer, japa-mantra, repetetion of the names of God, disidentification, self-inquiry, meditation, increasing Sattva Guna and reducing Rajas and Tamas in our mind, visualization with conscious breathing, purification of the 49 subconscious levels, the development of opposite virtues (love, peace, compassion ..), Bach flowers, the pranic healing, reiki etc., are some of the ways or the methods we can use to eliminate gradually the energy of anger.
Remember that anger is only a modification of desire, that`s why we have to enquire what desire or `need` is behind the anger in each situatition and eliminate it with proper means.
"The root cause of anger is ignorance and egoism. The egoism must be eliminated through Atma-Vichara (self-enquiry). Only then one can control his anger completely. By developing the opposing virtues like forgiveness (Ksama), love , peace (Shanti), compassion (Karuna), friendship, etc., anger can be controlled to a great extent. Its strength can be reduced. "
"Only the realization of the Atman (Atma-jnana) can fry the seeds of the impressions (Samskaras) of anger for not re-sprout, and thus eradicate them completely."
~ Swami Sivananda
Peace, Light and Love